Lake ecosystems

Using the example of a large, temperature-stratified gravel quarry lake near Göttingen, structure, abiotic factors, organisms, metabolic processes and nutrient cycles of a deep lake ecosystem are learned predominantly by personal observations, surveys, microscopic examinations, measurements and analyses using student-level, scientific methods. The stable thermal stratification of this deep lake is accompanied by impressive vertical profiles of abiotic factors from which the biological processes occurring in different zones of the lake can be derived. The lake’s situation also demonstrates conflicts and need for regulations arising from the suite of different use interests in the cultural landscape. We inform about water quality assessment and monitoring according to EU water framework directive.

One-day course: general introduction at XLAB - trip to the lake, physico-chemical measurements and water sampling in the water column from the lake surface to the bottom (> 20m depth), plankton sampling, introduction to vegetation zones from littoral belt to submerged plants - plankton microscopy (bright-field, phase-contrast, dark-field), water analyses using high-quality test kits, chlorophyll analysis, presentation and discussion at XLAB.

Most of the chemical analyses can be carried out alternatively by wet chemistry/photometry at XLAB’s chemistry lab (higher time requirement)

Duration: 1 day. Longer programs, topical excursions or a combination with stream ecology courses are possible.
Season: April to November
Travel expenses: € 8 per person or use of own vehicles
Maximal number of participants: 23 with organized travel, 24 with own vehicles